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La Table - Poster
Artwork for the poster
(Painting: Bruno Guastalla,
Photomontage: Ayala Kingsley)

La Table - Dripping
'Dripping' off the table
(Ensemble cast, Freud Café 2000)

La Table - Sketch
(Original sketch: Bruno Guastalla)

La Table - Gramophone
The gramophone (Bill Guastalla)

La Table - Yearning
'the music is full of yearning'
(Ensemble cast, Freud Café 2000)

La Table - Soup
The soup tureen (Jules McKim)

La Table - Terror
Instants of terror
(Ensemble cast,
Pegasus Theatre 2001)

LA TABLE - April 2000

"an object lesson in physical control"
(Oxford Times)

Within the layers of existence, a timeless relationship flows between the ancestors and the living, forward and back in a space we cannot enter, just glimpse in instants of terror. Energy, gravity, yearning, nourishment, delicacy, fragility and half-forgotten music.

I thought of the scenario of La Table in 1999 when - having started working with Café Reason as a musician and really taken with the quality of butoh, I attempted to move myself - not having done anything of the sort before...

What prompted me in creating this piece were ideas and feelings which, although not directly narrative, had their roots in personal history and suddenly were fed into what seemed like archetypal representations. Not only that, the actual movements and the choice of training for them during the preparation of the piece seemed to originate from the same place as the ideas.

Ana Barbour (with energy, inventiveness, tact and great humour) transformed what were just tableau sketches jotted down into a choreography, and the development process became a very important time for me, for all sorts of reasons.

Cafe Reason were remarkably trusting in lending me their bodies to experiment with- I also had a lot to do with the sets, as well as designing the sounds for the piece.

So for me there was a great deal of beginner's luck and beginner's daring there... it got much harder next time I tried to put a piece together!

La Table was first performed in the apt setting of Freud Cafe in Oxford in April 2000, then in 2001 as part of Café Reason's Guess-station show at the Oxford Pegasus Theatre. It was revived in 2002 under the direction of Helen Edwards and taken to The Place in London as part of the Resolution season for new work, returning once more to the Pegasus later that year.

Bruno Guastalla    

Dancers included Rupert Alison, Ana Barbour, Beano, Helen Edwards, Bruno Guastalla, Susie Hendry, Ayala Kingsley, Liz Mathew, Ruth Parkinson, Fabrizia Verrecchia, with Joe Butler, Jeannie Donald, Bill Guastalla, Jules McKim, and Jenny Lewis.